When you’re dealing with major home improvements — whether it be exterior painting or stucco repair — you’re bound to have questions. Here’s a few of the most common questions we receive from our clients about our services.
What is the difference between plaster, stucco and EIFS?
Plaster is a broad term used to describe materials that are applied to a wall in a thin layer. One example of plaster is Portland cement-based plaster, also known as traditional stucco. This material has been used as siding on homes for centuries, and depending on the type, it can be applied in either one or three coats. Starting in the 1950s, a new plaster-based siding came on to the scene called Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS). This synthetic stucco is prized for its energy efficiency and flexibility, though it is more expensive and more likely to be damaged by water than traditional stucco systems.
What is kick-out flashing?
Rainwater intrusion is one of the leading causes of stucco damage, which is why properly installed kick-out flashing is crucial for any house with stucco siding. Also known as diverter flashing, this device directs rainwater away from the siding and into the gutter. You’ll typically find kick-out flashing in areas where the roof and exterior wall meet or where the gutter meets the side of a chimney.
How long does stucco last?
The lifespan of stucco depends on the quality of the application and the frequency of maintenance. With proper maintenance and care, stucco can last as long as the building remains standing. There are even some ancient buildings with stucco that are thousands of years old!
What kind of warranty do you offer for your stucco work?
Platinum Remodeling & Stucco warrants all labor and materials for a period of 12 months following completion of the work.
Is it better to choose latex or oil paint?
Oil-based paint provides an exceptionally smooth applications that covers well in just a single coat. It’s also quite durable and can stand up to a lot of wear. The biggest downside to oil-based paint are all the chemicals it uses — the fumes can be intense and toxic solvents must be used to clean brushes.
Latex paints are better for the environment, dry quickly and are significantly easier to use and clean up than oil-based paints. The downside of latex paint is that it isn’t as smooth as oil-based paints, which means you often have to apply multiple coats.
What paint sheen should I choose?
With so many options available, it can feel daunting trying to figure out which sheen is right for a particular application. Let’s break it down:
- Flat — This choice helps reduce the appearance of surface imperfections, and are ideal for low-traffic areas like living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms.
- Eggshell — This washable and scrubbable sheen is durable yet offers a hint of a satin-finish that looks great in living rooms, bedrooms and family rooms.
- Satin — Characterized by its very subtle gloss, this sheen is versatile, easy to maintain and looks great in the vast majority of rooms.
- Semi-gloss — Looking for optimal durability in the high-moisture areas or children’s rooms? Semi-gloss might be the right choice for you! It’s also excellent for trim.
- High-gloss — This sheen is highly durable and reflective, which makes it perfect for both highly used areas as well as decorative home elements, such as trim and cabinetry
What kind of paint should I pick for high-moisture areas, like the kitchen and bathroom?
It’s not uncommon for high humidity and condensation levels to crack, peel or mildew the paint in kitchens and bathrooms. Luckily, you can avoid this issue by using a paint that is semi-gloss, satin or eggshell. Due to the higher sheen, these paints offer a harder finish that is more resistant to moisture than other types, and they can be washed and scrubbed easily.
How is mildew removed from exterior painted walls?
Characterized by black, gray or brown spots, mildew is commonly formed along exterior painted walls in humid, shady environments with poor air circulation. If you’re planning to repaint your home’s exterior, it’s important to remove any mildew before beginning the process, or else it can come through the surface of the new paint. Luckily, mildew can be easily removed from surfaces simply by scrubbing it with a solution of 1 part household bleach and 3 parts water. After the mildew is removed, it’s important to remove any excess bleach solution with a garden hose or power washer. Once this is complete, priming and painting can now begin.
What prep work do you do before beginning exterior painting projects?
At Platinum Remodeling & Stucco, we believe prepping for a paint job is just as important as the painting itself. Here are the steps we take before applying the first coat of paint:
- Identifying the specific areas that require extensive prep.
- Remove old paint that is flaking or blistering using a paint scraper, wire brush, putty knife or, in some cases, a power washer.
- Sand and smooth out areas where flaking and blistering are present. Caulking is common on surfaces where nonorganic paint was used.
- Replace any siding that is damaged beyond repair.
- Seal cracks and gaps with a paintable exterior caulk.
- Remove any mildew and dirt build-up by pressure washing the house’s exterior using a bleach and water solution.
- Mask off any areas that will not be painted.
Can you paint plastic or vinyl shutters?
Yes. Before we paint, we pressure wash the shutter to ensure they are free of any dirt or grime. We then begin the painting process by applying a primer coat. After the primer has dried, we go over it with a paint in the color and sheen of your choice. Depending on how well the first coat covers the primer, we may apply two coats.
What should I do with leftover paint products?
First and foremost, never dump leftover painting products down a drain or in a yard. The first step to determining what to do with leftover paint products is to check if it’s even still usable. To do this, stir the solution with a paint stick. Is it still smooth? If so, you can recycle the paint for other projects. If paint cans are empty or contain a small amount of paint left that is not usable, open the can up and let it air dry out of reach of children or pets. For dried up latex paints, you can simply toss out with household trash. For oil-based paints, add an absorbent material like kitty litter to dry it up before tossing.
What kind of warranty do you offer for your painting work?
In the event of peeling, blistering or chipping paint resulting from defective workmanship, Platinum Remodeling & Stucco warrants all labor and materials for a period of 12 months following completion of the work.
What should I consider when choosing flooring?
With so many options to choose from, it’s no wonder that picking the right flooring can feel like a daunting task. Here’s a few questions to ask yourself:
Who lives in your house?
There are so many variable to consider with this question. For example, carpet and hardwood flooring — while comfortable and luxurious — is more prone to spills and scratches. That means if there are babies and children in the house, you may be better off with easier-to-clean vinyl or tile. Other residents to consider include accident-prone pets and people with disabilities. Pets can leave both messes and fur around the house, so carpet may not be an ideal choice. People using walkers or wheelchairs may have trouble with grouted tile surfaces, so opt for hardwood or laminate flooring instead.
Are allergies a concern?
If so, you may want to avoid carpet, which can promote a build up of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Instead, opt for hard, smooth flooring that can be swept regularly.
Which rooms need flooring?
Obviously you’re not going to choose just one type of flooring for an entire house. Carpet in the bathroom? No thanks. Depending on their function, you may have multiple flooring types throughout your home.
What’s your budget?
Hardwood flooring can be pricey, but it’s well worth the investment if you can manage it. That said, you don’t have to break the bank to make your floors look great. The most cost-effective options are typically laminate and vinyl.
How do I care for my new flooring?
For smooth, hard surfaces like hardwoods, laminate, vinyl and tile, it’s important to sweep, dust mop and vacuum on a daily and weekly basis. Additionally, hardwoods should be mopped with a wood flooring cleaner (never use soap and water) once a month, and every few years, they will likely require a more intensive maintenance coat. Finally, expect to sand and refinish the hardwoods every couple decades. Carpets should be vacuumed and spot cleaned regularly, though you might need them shampooed every couple of years depending on how much traffic the room receives.
How can I repair damaged hardwood floors?
There are several strategies for repairing hardwood that has become scratched, dented or discolored. This include color-blend fillers, touch-up scratch kits, complete floor board replacement, and finally, total sanding and refinishing for deeply worn hardwood floors.
How do I protect my hardwood flooring from scratches?
We recommend using floor protectors on furniture feet, laying down rugs in high-traffic areas, and placing doormats at entryways. If you are moving furniture or other heavy objects across your hardwood floor, use a ¼” panel of hardboard to prevent dents.
What kind of edge treatments are available?
Square edges, beveled edges, pillowed edges and eased edges (also known as micro edges) are all attractive edge treatments that enhance the aesthetic of your flooring.
What kind of floor molding options do you offer?
Platinum offers a variety of molding and trim options, including:
- Quarter round moldings, for where flooring meets walls
- Multi-purpose reducer, for a smooth transition from one type of flooring to another type
- T-Molding, to connect two sections of flooring at doorway or passageway thresholds
- Flush stair nose, for finishing along stairs, step downs and landings
- Overlap step nose, for where floor meets a landing or step down
- Baby threshold, ideal for where flooring meets sliding doors or along staircases, landings and steps.
What is the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles?
Made from white or red clay and often topped with a glaze, ceramic tiles have been around for thousands of years. Porcelain tiles are even more durable and impervious, having been made from very dense, finely powdered clay that is heated to extremely high temperatures under high pressure.
Should I choose glazed or unglazed tiles?
Glazes allow for a variety of colors and designs, and they also defend the tile against staining. Unglazed tiles are excellent for commercial applications, however, as they will not show wear since their color is retained throughout the tile.
Can wall and floor tiles be used interchangeably?
No. Wall tiles are typically thinner, lighter and softer than the sturdy, load-bearing tiles you would find on a floor. Additionally, the glazes used in wall tiles are not equipped to handle the wear that comes along with regular foot traffic. Applying floor tiles to a wall, on the other hand, is not unheard of.
Do I have to use a special kind of tile around my fireplace?
Although installing tile inside a fireplace’s firebox is not recommended, tile performs well when applied to the face of a fireplace.
How easily does ceramic tile crack?
Tile is incredibly durable when installed correctly — it can typically last for the lifetime of a home. However, there are times when a tile may crack when something heavy and hard
How should I clean my ceramic tile?
One of the biggest appeals of tile flooring is how easy it is to clean. Simply wipe the surface with a sponge or mop soaked in a gentle, soap-free detergent. While a bleach and water solution works well for heavy duty cleaning, try to avoid abrasive household cleaners or steel wool pads, which can scratch the tile or leave rust stains.
Does tile fade?
No. After all, tile is created in ovens that are heated up to 2,300 degrees, so the heat from direct sunlight exposure is no threat.
What flooring options are susceptible to fading?
Some flooring types, like vinyl, carpet and even hardwoods, can be discolored by UV rays, which is why we recommend drawing your blinds on especially sunny days, covering the floor with a rug or moving furniture around regularly to even out the exposure.
Can I place laminate flooring over other types of flooring?
Yes, laminate flooring can be installed on top of wood, tile, vinyl, concrete, and even carpet if it’s properly adhered and no more than ¼” thick.
Can laminate flooring be refinished?
No. As a synthetic material, laminate cannot be sanded and finished like hardwoods. When it becomes worn out and scratched, it must be replaced. That’s why taking proper care of laminate flooring is the best way to ensure it last several decades.
What rooms can I install a particular kind of flooring in?
For the most part, you can install most types of flooring anywhere in the house. That said, never have hardwood flooring installed in high-moisture areas like bathrooms or basements.
How often should my chimney receive maintenance?
This largely depends on how often you use your fireplace. According to the National Fire Protection Association, chimneys, fireplaces and vents should be inspected “at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits and correct clearances.” Depending on what this annual evaluation reveals, be prepared to schedule cleaning, maintenance and repairs.
Why should I install a chimney cap?
Chimney caps are decorative and functional tops that are placed at the top of a chimney. There are several reasons why it’s important to have a chimney cap.
- They keep rainwater from washing down your chimney and damaging liners, dampers and mortar joints.
- They keep critters like birds, raccoons and squirrels from entering and making a home inside your chimney flue.
- They prevent leaves and branches from blocking your chimney.
- They prevent windy downdrafts, which can blow smoke into your home.
- They prevent embers from traveling up the chimney, landing on your roof and sparking a fire.
- What are chimney shrouds and crowns?
- These are interchangeable terms used to describe a chimney cap.
What is the white staining on my chimney?
White stains, known as efflorescence, are a sign that moisture has permeated your chimney. If this issue isn’t addressed promptly, it can deteriorate and form cracks in your chimney. While removing the surface white stains — which are actually salt deposits — is quite easy, the most important thing to address is the source of the moisture.
Why are gutters important?
Without functional, unclogged gutters, rainwater runoff can compromise the integrity of your home’s roofline, exterior, windows, foundation, and more.
How do I know when my gutters should be replaced?
The most obvious indicator that it’s time to get new gutter is by taking a look at your home’s exterior. Is there peeling paint or mold? Is debris causing the gutters to sag? If so, it’s probably time to install new ones.
What are seamless gutters?
Also known as continuous gutters, seamless gutters are one of the most effective ways to catch and drain rainwater runoff from your roof to the ground. Unlike sectional gutters that have leak-prone seams every 10 to 20 feet, continuous gutters make sure that no water slips through cracks and no debris gets wedged in any seams.
Do gutters come in different colors?
Yes. We offer a variety of different colors to choose from when picking out your new gutters.
What happens to my existing gutters after you install the new ones?
We dispose of the old gutters for you once we have installed the new ones.
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What is the difference between hardscaping and landscaping?
While landscaping involves decorative planning of organic, living materials such as trees, flowers, grass and other plants, hardscaping involves decorative planning on non-living elements like brick and stone and metalwork and wood. Examples of hardscaping include patios, pavilions, walls, pathways, and outdoor fireplaces and kitchens.
What kind of warranty do you offer with your brick and stone masonry work?
Platinum Remodeling & Stucco warrants all labor and materials for a period of 12 months following completion of the work.